A still from 'Your Kunst Is Your Waffen'
Loisaida Festival Celebrates Queer Latin Culture
The Loisaida Festival started in the early 80s as a block party for local LES kids to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in the hood in lieu of a fancy weekend outside the city, which was beyond the reach of the mostly Puerto Rican working class families who made up the neighborhood in those days. Now that the LES has been colonized by Scenesters, Hipsters, and Bros (half of whom probably do have fucking weekend homes to spend Memorial Day at), it’s good to visit the annual Loisaida festival, which is still going strong, to celebrate the vibrant Latin culture of the historically diverse neighborhood. “Loisaida,” by the way, is a Latinization of “Lower East Side” in case you didn’t know, and Puerto Ricans throwing a party make the bros and hipsters look like such amateurs.
This year the festival is dedicating special attention to promoting “the often overlooked contribution of Queer Latin@ artists and activists to the Lower East Side’s rich cultural fabric.” Saturday, May 23, from 1:00PM to 5:30PM is Reconstructing Queer Latin@ Loisaida in Cinema, Literature, and Art, featuring The Life, Death, and Assumption of Lupe Velez from 1:00-2:00PM, and Your Kunst Is Your Waffen from 2-3:30PM. The films will be followed by a round table discussion between eminent local scholars on the state of research on Queer Loisaida (for all you critical theory hos). The screening and round table will both be at the New Loisaida Center at 710 East 9th st. and the festival continues through Sunday, May 24.
If Puerto Ricans and Latin American folks know how to throw a party, it follows that Queer Puerto Ricans and Latin@s are going to be KILLING IT reina, so we suggest you text Brody, Brady, and Brock right now to tell them lo siento but you’re skipping out on that Sag Harbor bro barbecue and heading to East 9th Street, because, as my Abuela always told me, “summer brojobs in the boathouse are a dime a dozen but a serious Latin@ party is something special, mi amor.”